Sean Baek is the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee student who has been missing since February 14.
Contrary to a viral Facebook post, police do not believe that Baek, 18, was abducted in Chicago. At the time of his disappearance, Baek was wearing a Milwaukee Bucks baseball cap, a dark-colored shirt with maroon and white and white shoes. Baek is 5-foot-10 and weighs 160 pounds. Baek has Type-1 diabetes, is insulin-dependent and needs medication. Anybody with any information on Baek’s whereabouts is asked to call the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee police on 414-229-4627 or 414-935-7211.
Police have said that they believe Baek and another student were taking LSD in Cambridge Commons, a campus residence hall at UMW. At 1:25 a.m., a witness saw someone running from the residence hall, on Cambridge Avenue, to a nearby river. Police have also said that the other person that Baek was taking drugs with, had a bad reaction. The reason that authorities did not previously reveal that Baek had used drugs prior to his disappearance was that they did not want anybody with information to fear coming forward. The Milwaukee Fire Department is aiding the UWM police in searching the river.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Baek Texted His Father to Say, ‘I Love You Guys. I Am Sorry,’ Just Before His Disappearance
In a media conference, UWM Police Chief Joseph LeMire said that around the time he went missing, Baek texted his father and wrote, “I love you guys. I am sorry.” That text was sent at 1:20 a.m. LeMire also said that since that text, the phone is not transmitting any signal, which investigators believe could mean the phone was destroyed or submerged in the river. LeMire added, “It’s UWM’s fervent hope that Sean is alive and well and that he is found soon.”
Baek’s mother, Kristin Erickson, has said of her son’s disappearance, via Fox Milwaukee, “Yes, our son made a horrible choice, but he did not go out and run into the river. I don’t believe that for one second. He had too much to live for to want to die.” Erickson said that she did not believe that her son was suicidal and that his text message to his father was because he felt bad for taking drugs.
2. Baek’s Mother Says a Psychic Told Her That Her Son Was Abducted & Taken to Chicago Where He ‘Is Being Restrained’
Erickson said on Facebook that a psychic had told her that her son was abducted in Chicago. The post read, “Please share this with any friends in Chicago. There is strong reason to believe Sean is in an elite late model silver van. Very high end with few windows. On the north side of Chicago near Lakeshore Drive. He is been restrained and time is of the essence.
Man driving is a Caucasian or someone with olive skin. He is VERY strong. Ex-military or ex-football player. Wearing a leather bomber-style jacket and something red on top – like a bandana or a scarf around his neck.
He was adducted near Brady Street in Milwaukee Friday morning at 1:40 am and then driven to Chicago. Please believe me and get the word out. Thank you.”
In a separate Facebook post, Baek’s mother promised a “substantial reward” for information that would lead to him being found.
3. Police Have Said That There Is No Evidence to Suggest Baek Was Abducted
In a statement, the UWM police said, “Recent social media posts have suggested that Sean is the victim of foul play. One of the posts states that Sean was abducted to the Chicago area. It is important for the public and our campus community to understand that as of right now, the police have received no information from any witnesses to this effect.”
A UWM freshman, Cameron Quinn, told CBS Milwaukee about one of the posts he saw regarding Baek’s whereabouts, “It said that like this man in like a coat or whatever like an ex-military had like a van and drove him to Chicago but I don’t know how true that is.” As far as the police are concerned, foul play is not suspected.
4. Baek Grew Up in the Town of McFarland, Wisconsin
Baek’s friend, Matthew Mandli, told Fox Milwaukee, “What his roommate told me, who was the third person with the group who was sober, was that he looked visibly scared that his friend had been harmed, or that there would be any kind of legal trouble… Everyone here, we’re doing everything we can to find you, and you’re not going to be in any trouble. We just want you back.” Mandli grew up in the town of McFarland, Wisconsin, with Baek, which is located 80 miles west of Milwaukee.
5. Baek’s Friend Says the Missing man’s Social Media Accounts Offer No Clues to His Whereabouts
Mandli said in a Facebook post that he and Baek’s family have logged into the missing student’s social media accounts but have found no leads as to his whereabouts. The family has turned those accounts over to the police. Mandli also said that authorities have promised that nobody will be charged in relation to drug offenses over Baek’s disappearance.
CBS Milwaukee reports that Baek’s family confirmed to the station that they had hired a psychic to help in the search. Michael Baek told the station, “Our family is devastated by the disappearance of our son Sean. We are hopeful that he will still be found alive and well. We are asking for any assistance in locating him in Milwaukee or any surrounding areas. Please help us get our boy home.”